tv Today in Washington CSPAN May 26, 2011 6:00am-7:00am EDT
workforce by about 11% during my time as governor. he also went on to say that we had one of the leanest workforces in the country. i think he said we were sixth or seventh leanest in the country. he was using that as a criticism of me in an interview on television. i cake that as a compliment. we can't have government be the only growth industry in this country. if you got time to come to the cato institute or aei or heritage and attend seminars, that's terrific. it is important information and it is wonderful but all you really need to know about much of government reform is to go to two weddings. go to one wedding where there is a cash bar and go to another wedding where there is an open bar. you will see two very different sets of behavior. if people have the impression
that people are free and they get to consume it endlessly and the provider has the only incentive to provide on volume and the light is greeted that the bill goes somewhere else and a third party pays for it, that is a system i can tell you is doomed to inefficiency or failure. that is much of our government, unfortunately. as a tug of education, health care and other things, we have to reform it with those principles in mind. i was governor and we put forward one of the first performance pay systems that were offered statewide. that was performance pay for teachers and teacher unions did not like it. we resulted as part of a government shutdown. it was the first in the 150 year history of my state. we got it done that in the first time, we are changing a culture that rewarded seniority and aligned how long a public
employee had been around where student's learning is almost zero. we turned it into something that is more aligned with performance and student learning. in the area of health care, this is another example. whether it is school districts or the state or the federal government or the department of defense, the number one leader in terms of the things that is growing the fastest in government budgets is health care. we had a debate in the country led by president obama that spent a good chunk of time but did not fix the problem. we have a president who said he would focus on cost containment which is one of the main concerns for most americans when they think about their health care portability and costs. president obama has led us to a conclusion that i think is
unconstitutional but beyond that, will expend access to a system but he did not contain the system. he will make it worse. one of the things we did in minnesota is we work with the state employee union. the city's health-care costs are going up high for them and we got to a new system. if you go somewhere higher in quality and more efficient, you will pay less for it about 80% of the state employees migrated to higher quality or equal quality providers but they are more efficient. the prince and that program over seven or eight years in my time as governor were dramatically
below market. a couple of the years had zero percent increases. now people had some skin and again about what they're worth doing and what they're consuming and choosing an had a dramatic affect. the myth about everything being free was partially realigned into people becoming more informed and responsible consumers. that model applies across much of government and point the way forward for reform in many of these programs. i will leave the rest of the time for questions and answers but i thank you for being here today. the way forward may not be easy but it is not complex. we know this country has had the most successful, most prosperous track record of any country in the history of the world and we can look back and see what works and why it works. all we need to do is bring those experiences and principles and
values to the debate and discussion of our time and apply them to the challenges of our time. it will not be easy but it has never been easy. valley forge was not easy. settling the west was not easy. winning world war two was not easy. going to the moon was not easy. we're not talking about what is easy. we are talking about what needs to be done and being bold and being candid and being courageous about calling it out and getting the problem fixed. i offer these observations to you today and welcome your questions. thank you very much. [applause] shout them out and i will repeat that if they can't hear them. >> tell us your name and affiliation and keep the questions related to the speech, please. >> i would like to get your response to comments i have heard over the last six months. one came on an nfl broadcast.
joe buck made the comment that the game would be carried an armed forces broadcast in 75 countries. there are many and this is out there but 175 countries blows my mind. my second comment was i heard somebody talking about exit strategies. i assumed there talk about iraq and afghanistan. he was talking about europe, japan, and korea and all the wars ended over 50 years ago. with their current deficit challenges, why do we need to have all these troops in places where i don't think -- the problems were solved decades ago? >> this relates to the commitments of the united states of america militarily here and around the world and the budget implications within your question. i have an unusual amount of
international experience. i have been able to travel the world for various reasons including five trips to iraq and three trips to afghanistan. i have been all over the middle east. i met with leaders and visited troops. i have been to bosnia and kosovo. i have led trade missions to south america and india and china and other places. i have had a chance to see the men and women in our military operate in war zones and as peacekeepers. i am not one who will stand before you and tell you we should cut the defense budget. we will have an opportunity to responsibly and appropriately drawdown our presence in iraq and afghanistan in the not too distant future and that will help. your question is broader than that. you raise the question of age as an example. if you go to asia and you see what is right in terms of the
chinese influence economically, military to -- militarily, strategically, one question is this -- are you going to be here? if you are not, we have to make other arrangements will start hedging our bets. we have the same question in other important parts of the world. why would we want to be in south korea text i think we have some pretty profound commitment historically because of the korean war. also, we have they failed or nearly filled stake in north korea with nuclear weapons. we need to make sure that we have a presence as the united states of america in areas that could affect the security interests and security interests of our friends and allies. i think you are implying that we need to pull out troops out of asia, think you would see a massive realignment of strategic relationships toward china away from america in asia. i think that would be very
unwise. that is not to said that defense cannot be more efficient and facilities cannot be read or test as of the shutdown or reduced -- cannot be prioritized or shut down or reduced. there are not savings and efficiencies that can be found. if you believe about our nation's security which it is the first and most important obligation of the federal government and put the most important thing on top, that goes right to the top of the list. this is not where we'll get six months or six years warning about complex burden this thing can happen in minutes. we don't have 15 years and 20 years to say that i wish we had developed that system. i understand the spirit of your question and i respect it and i
know there are inefficiencies in the defense department and we should root them out and redeploy those resources but i will not stand here and tell you that we should cut the defense budget. we can slow it down and make it more efficient but i am not for shrinking america's presence in the world. i am for making sure that america remains the world leader and not become second or third or fourth on the list. >> when you speak about trimming the federal work force, would you consider eliminating any federal agencies if you were president? >> i would. we will do the press questions outside. >> i am a banking consultant in town.
i'm interested in your thoughts about the paul ryan plan for reforming medicare and the voucher proposal. this is in light of the outcome in the new york special election yesterday which is seen by some as a referendum on paul ryan's proposal. >> the leadership and courage of congressman wright and putting that forward should be noted. before he did that, the president of united states i think that proposed a $400 billion reduction over 10 years. if you average that out, it would have been a $40 billion reduction over 10 years at a time when we have trillion dollar deficits every year. the president was missing. he did not leave or put anything on the table. in my view, he did not have the courage to do what it takes to lead the nation and one of the most important issues facing the
united states of america. here comes congressman ryan, a bright encourages congressman from wisconsin and he put a plan on the table that sparked the debate. after that, the president comes forward with supplements to his previous proposals and you have the president lagging behind members of congress in the leadership category. the plan in general, the direction of the plan is positive but i will have my own plan. we will have some differences from his plant and some things will be dissent and some things will be different. he chose not to address social security. we will and we are. our medicare plan which will have -- we will have out shortly will have some differences. we will be speaking about pimmit reform and paying providers not just for volume but for quality and results as part of their compensation. we will offer a variety of
choices to people where they can choose to stay in the current program or select from other options. we will talk about incentivizing consumers so they can make a number of choices they would like. it will be different than congressman ryan's proposal and we will have that in the not too distant future. anybody in the back? go ahead. >> thank you. you mentioned ethanol and then you mentioned social security in the same sentence. you mentioned the extension of the working age. do you think these two things are the same or equal in
importance and relevance to entitlements to a functional democracy that has existed for longer than most stable third world governments? has your experience as governor exposed due to a history of budget making in your state that has planned for inflation? if the plan for inflation is not in place, would you as a business person or as a governor take the responsibility to said that you need to plan for inflation and it is not the employee's fault? have exposed to as much as you need to be exposed to in your budget plan and budget making to be able to say it is the fault of the government or the fault of the budget team who had not
planned for inflation? >> as it relates to my call to face that ethanol subsidies and the changes i mentioned to social security which is to say for people entering the workforce, we will raise the retirement age gradually over time. i did not mean to suggest those are of the same magnitude. they are meant to be examples of things that historical people have said you cannot talk about that in iowa. about socialk security reform in florida. you can go to wall street and talk about what it will take to clean up that mess. then't suggest those are same magnitude that they are meant to reflect examples of the kind of spirit we will have which to speak truth to what the real problem is and not have any sacred cows. as your second question about
budgeting, i was governor of the state of minnesota for 80 years. we budget every two years in my state and we balance the budget every year without question. we have a constitutional requirement as almost every other state desperate it has to be balanced. the last budget that i finished ends this summer and it will end in the black. there is a projected deficit in the future in minnesota but it is based on a big increase in projected spending that i would never have allowed that is something that would not have happened had i continued on as governor. beyond that in terms of building in inflation or automatic increases in spending, i don't buy that. we purposely shut that feature off in the minnesota budgeting process because i don't think you budget by saying that we will assume automatic increases in spending and we hope enough
revenue, and to pay for it. the better way to budget is to limit what you can project for spending based on the revenues that you brought in during the current budgeting cycle. in other words, you could not budget for the future more than the actual revenue you bring in the door for the current budget period. that would lead to a more conservative budget and it would end the practice which you see in minnesota and other states and the federal government which is we are going to assume things are on autopilot and will grow. we had a health and human service programs, health care programs growing 10, 15, 25% per budget cycle and it was baked into the budget forecast that they would go up automatically. if the revenues did not come in, you had a budget deficit.
and that is crazy. you should assume your revenues will be no greater than what you are bringing in the door and you have to live within that assuming automatic increases for inflation. allied governments on autopilot and automatic decision making. we should force the congress and state legislators to appropriate every two years what amount of money they have coming in the door and only spend that amount of money. >> one last question for the governor before we break for a press conference. >> the gentleman with the purple tie which is the vikings color. >> i'm also a vikings fan. about what you're saying limited government especially with health care. how you justify limiting health care when you vetoed the medical marijuana policy project. you vetoed the bill which would
have kept government out of that relationship and kept terminally ill minnesota and out of jail. >> i stood with law enforcement on this bill. almost unanimously, the sheriff and law enforcement group were opposed to legalizing marijuana and i opposed it. we have a respect for difference of opinion on the issue. it is not something i support it is because i defer to the judgment law-enforcement. thank you very much for coming. i appreciate it. [applause] >> thank you governor pawlenty for visiting the cato institute and thank you all for coming. [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2011] >> on today's "washington
journal" we will talk to henry cuellar of texas. it begins love it 7:00 a.m. eastern time up on c-span. this june, the balance between security and liberty, the difficulties of a climate change treaty, and the limits of international law. your questions for altering university of chicago law professor eric posner. we'll take your calls, e-mails, and tweets, lies a june thaw. --live june 5. >> we have book-tv events on c- span 2 including interviews with authors. plus, a look at the book industry with local booksellers and american history events on
c-span 3 from the st. petersburg museum of history, the first scheduled commercial aircraft and a hidden history of angola, a settlement of 40 to 50 former slaves and seminal indians who fought two wars against the u.s. in the early 1800's. the city's tour kicks off this weekend, watch it on c-span 2 nc spam 3. >> up next: vice president joe biden delivers remarks at a new hampshire democratic party fund- raising events. his speech was part of the annual mcintyre dinner. whittle also there from the new hampshire governor. vice president joe biden was last in the granite state in april to give a speech to the university of new hampshire on the day president obama formally announced he was running for reelection. from the radisson hotel in nashua, new hampshire, this is 40 minutes. >> ladies and gentlemen,
governor john lynch and the vice president of the united states, joe biden. [ applause ] >> thank you. >> now it is my honor to introduce our special guest. the presidential primary is upon us. we need to begin now if we are going to send president obama and vice president biedenbach to the white house.
we are so fortunate to have the vice president here tonight. he has a long and distinguished career, a deep passional commitment to service. joe biden is a man of integrity. he cares about people and he has worked for 40 years to help move our nation forward. is it longer than that. he has guided our nation on foreign policy, fought to protect civil liberties and taken action to protect our environment. as i have said, we here in new hampshire stand with our workers, well, joe biden is a champion of workers and working families. now, before the vice president speaks, i have a small gift for him. he may not remember but back in
the fall he and i talked and unh football team had advanced to the playoffs, actually the third round. i graduated from the university of new hampshire. [ applause ] the vice president graduated from delaware. and delaware had also advanced to the third round and they were playing each other. so we talked and i forget whether we made a small wager or not, but, unfortunately -- unfortunately, unh lost to delaware. so i have a small gift to vice president biden which i will give to him now. i wrapped it myself. this is my gift to you.
>> thank. thank you, man. >> so let's give a resounding new hampshire welcome to vice president joe biden. >> thank you very much, governor. thank you. boy, i'll tell you what, that was worth the trip. please, please sit down. it is so great to see so many of my old friends again. so many people responsible for putting us in office, look, gov, i was hopefully helping patty murray and i went into the state of washington a lot and only lou
dellasandro will appreciate this. eastern washington beat us so i'm never going back to washington again. i'm delighted to be in new hampshire. lou and i used to have a bet every year about the delaware/new hampshire game. it is always competitive. had my football career at delaware been as auspicious as lou's at new hampshire, hell, i'd be president. # anyway, it is great to be back to see you all. it is a dangerous thing to do to start to name people. it is good to see paul. paul, you were a great congressman and i hope you will still take another shot at this. and is carol here? my buddy, carol, how are you?
i love you. carol was winning by 20 points before i campaigned for her 20 times. if i just stayed out, carol. and is billy sheen here? billy, i tell you what, you married way up, pal. way, way up. je jeanie is a star down there. this is dangerous so i'm going to stop now before i start naming people and leave out some of my close friends. look, folks, it's really genuinely good to be back with you all tonight. the last time i was up here and i came up a lot in '08, it was really a difficult, difficult political environment. and we had a lot of candidates two of whom i named so far who
were hurt, good friends of mine who should have won. had the turnout been anything remotely like it was in '08, they would have won. as a matter of fact, i think it's axiomatic. there was a giant enthusiasm gap, as they call it. 2012. i have spent a lot of time on the road since i have been elected vice president. they call air operations and controls, i have traveled well over 400,000 miles and that is supposed to make me feel good when they told me. it just made me feel tired. the truth of the matter is, i have been in 150 cities and almost every state and you can feel the change. you can feel the change. this feels more like 2008 than
it did 2010. [ applause ] but it's all about 2012. i think we are ready. if you doubt what i'm saying just look at jen dollar, or i should say state representative jen dollar. up in new york, an old friend i spoke with last night, who used to work for pat moynihan, a great lawyer now, now she is the congressman from the republican 26th district, jack kemp's old district. folks, look, it is not just new york's 25th, new hampshire's fourth. it's ohio, it's wisconsin, it's
florida. it's everywhere. it's everywhere newly elected republican governors have taken hold. they are good, decent people, but they have a fundamentally different view of the country than we do. across america folks in those states are getting a real doze of the unvarnished agenda of the new republican party, republican party circa 2010 and they don't seem to like it one bit. the same thing is happening nationally in congress. congressman paul ryan, who is a good, smart, decent man, and he is, he's laid out the republican vision of how to deal with the deficit and how to move forward, but he does it by decimated medicare, slashing investments in key areas, putting everything on the backs of the middle class and increase tax breaks for the wealthiest among us. every republican candidate in the house of representatives
embraced that vote except -- and every republican candidate for president embraced the ryan budget except newt gingrich who said it was social engineering. even newt's right once in a while. a clock -- a broken clock is right twice a day. it is social engineering. and the american people get it and they're getting it more profoundly than ever before. folks, you all know it. you guys are pros. you and the folks of iowa are so accustomed to being in tune to what is happening literally minute by minute and particularly in presidential years, and what is happening around the country. you know that elections are about the future. they are never about the past. and for us that means restoring the american dream and giving the middle class a shot. these are the reasons why barack and i ran in the first place and that is why we are running
again. so folks, to paraphrase samuel clemens the reports of the demise of the democratic party are premature. you know, there are a number of reasons why i feel good, not overconfident, but good about the nation's prospects and our prospects in 2012. i think they are inextricably intertwined. presidential elections, presidential elections are about strength and leadership. think about it now. every presidential election is only the most important characteristic the american people look for in who they want to be president. that man or woman has strength, character, is willing to lead. the american people recently begun to see up close and personal what i have seen and known for the past five years, but intimately, the past two
years, 2 1/2 years. i spend four to six hours a day every single day with the president and i are in washington together sitting with him. i've seen the decisions he's made. i've watched how he's gone about it. we have a leader with a backbone like a ramrod and now, now the real barack obama, the president who inherited the most god awful circumstances any president has inherited is coming into sharp focus. you could see what the campaign was going to be as it was emerging back in january, february, march. it was that president obama leads from behind, president obama is not decisive, president obama is not bold. well, i sat there for four months alone with him, actually, that ice not true, with three other people watching him
meticulously plan the boldest, the boldest decision, the boldest undertaking any president has undertaken on a single event in modern history. i watched him. [ applause ] i listened to him. the american people no longer confuse being con tem plative with having courage. the american people -- the american people watched him execute a decision, not only putting the lives of the special operators on the line, but his entire future on the line as president of the united states of america. he didn't hesitate. i want to tell you with the press here, a lot of folks afterwards called me and said congratulations, joe, because i occasionally get credit for being relatively strong on foreign policy and being someone he listens to you.
i can say to you what must be said. when that decision was made, we were around the table with a much larger group and he asked what should i do, every single solitary person at that table hedged their bet. well, 51% this, 49% that. except one person. leon panetta said go. ladies and gentlemen, i said wait another seven days for the following information. he took it under consideration and the next morning walked through the diplomatic exit to get in marine one to go to indiana, he said go. go. and there was no better than a 50/50 chance that president obama's decision was going to find osama bin laden in that place. he made it with 100% confidence
in our special operators. ladies and gentlemen, the american people have seen, have a clear, crystal clear picture of how strong and decisive this president is. that is the last piece of the puzzle that had to be put in place, had to be put in place for this great man. folks, sometimes it is a funny thing. sometimes when you get a simple snapshot of a person or a circumstance, it allows you to put in much better perspective, see the whole landscape differently, with a longer lens and more perspective. and it also generates, we think about a lot of things, people are beginning to take a second look, those incredibly difficult decisions the president had to make the day we walked into the west wing. the day we walked into the west wing. rescuing a financial system to
prevent worldwide collapse. that was about as popular as guaranteeing the safety of rattlesnakes on the streets of manchester. am i joking? ask any member, ask carol, ask paul. rescuing the american automobile industry, saving a million jobs had they liquidated would have been lost. equally unpopular. passing an economic recovery act, pulling america out of the worst hole it had been in a long time, getting it on level ground, complicating, confusing and difficult to explain because of confusion with t.a.r.p. all unpopular decisions, but all essential. for he never doubted that history would judge them as decisions that had to be made. he made the decisions based on what was best for the country.
he knew -- he knew it wasn't going to help him politically. now the american people have seen the results of those bold decisions, feeling the positive effe effects. the banks paid back all the money with $7 million profit for the taxpayer. the automobile industry is rolling again. for the first time in 24 years, j.d. powers rates american automobiles as higher initial quality than foreign automobiles. for the first time in 16 years -- [ applause ] for the first time in 16 years, paul, american automobile manufactures are capturing a larger share of the market. just as they come out of bankruptcy they invested another $8 billion in plant and equipment in america with a great deal more to come.
and yesterday chrysler paid back every penny this administration lent them six years ahead of schedule. ladies and gentlemen -- [ applause ] you can see the results of that right here in new hampshire. on the way here, i stopped in manchester at bonneville and sons chrysler where i on the way, i met with 85 employees who are still working. still working. and by the way, they're on track to sell more automobiles this year than any time since 2006 even with gas prices ast astronomically high. that story is being replayed in every community in america. let me remind you what the republican candidate for president said about rescuing the automobile industry.
mitt romney, the son of an automobile man said if you just write a check you are going to see these companies go out of business for good. tim pawlenty, said, for them, chapter 11 is a more viable alternative. ladies and gentlemen, i could go on and on but i would be piling it on the i did. they have a different view. they are good guys. they have a different view of this country. they said the same kinds of things about the recovery act. here is what we saw, 14 straight months of private-sector job growth, 2.1 million private-sector jobs since it began and considerably more than were created in the entire eight years of the bush administration. 238,000 private-sector jobs just
last month. here is what it adds up to, an economy that's on its way back. i know there is still a long way to go. there are still millions of women and men who are like the family i was raised in. when a recession hit, we knew someone sitting around my dad's kitchen table, his brothers, his brothers-in-law, our neighbors, were going to lose their job. we knew it. we knew it and it happened. but tonight, tonight there are still millions of americans and some folks in this state going to bed staring at the ceiling wondering am i going to get to sleep here next month. am i going to have call mary at unh and say, i'm sorry, i don't think we can send you back next semester. look, folks, when you are out of
a job, i come from a family where my father was out of a job, it is a depression for you and it robs you of your dignity and your sense of self-worth. so, folks, we know we've got a long way to go. we've got a long way to go to restore, restore those jobs for the millions who are still unemployed. that is why barack and i ran in the first place, to give these people a fighting chance, to give them a way back, to secure their place in the middle class which they are like, my wife for years and my mother before her had hanging on the refrigerator, the cat sliding down the side that says stress. let me tell you something, man, the american people are under an incredible amount of stress. all they want to do is live in a safe neighborhood and a decent home.
be able to send their kids to a good school with a promise they can go to college and have a little bit of time and the hope, the hope that you can save just enough for the retirement so you don't have to rely on their children. that's not much to ask. it seems a lot to ask from the perspective of our colleagues on the other side. folks, this is why we have to win. there's so much more to do. you know, i know that if we don't win and i believe you should know and i believe you do know if we don't win, there is going to be a return to the failed ideas of the republican party. you've seen it in process already.
policies being played out in washington, wisconsin, ohio, florida. with new republican governors have taken control. so, folks, we've got to win. there's a second reason why i think we are going to win, beyond the american people having a clear view of the man i know so well. the second reason we're going to win is that for the first time in my career, and i hate to reference how many years it was, that is why i was joking about it when you said 40 years, i'm only 42. think about it, folks, no matter how new or old to the party you are, do you ever remember a time where the republicans had run for office where they didn't as we say in football, hide the ball. they are not hiding the ball this time.
they are straight out there saying, here it is, jack. this is the way we're going to run. thank god for small favors. [ applause ] remember, carol, in your race and your race, paul, how you were being told, no, we are going to protect social security, we are going to protect health care for the elderly and we're going to make sure we give people a fighting chance. we are going to make sure we help get kids to college. we're going to make sure et cetera, et cetera, et cetera. folks, they are not playing that game anymore. they are just straight up, straight up. and let me tell you, when the republicans are honest about what they will do if they gain power, that creates an absolutely crystal clear choice for the american people. and when that choice is put before the american people we are in good shape.
look, it's not enough the other guy doesn't know what they are doing. i'm not suggesting that. we have to have an agenda and we do. the second reason i feel good about '12 is they are laying out their agenda. the paul ryan agenda. by the way, paul ryan is a decent, smart guy. he really thinks -- he really thinks that the way for america to own the 21st century is the prescription he's laid out. and every republican in the congress obviously thinks so as well. and all by five republicans in the senate think so as well. and every republican candidate running for president thinks so as well.
even newt has seen the lord and is praising the budget. folks, let's get clear about this budget. talk to cathy, it is not just about the fact that they end medicare and turn it into a voucher system for folks. it's not just that they keep $1 trillion worth of tax cuts for the very wealthy, they add another $100 billion on top of it. i'm not makes this up. it's not just that they voted to retain a $40 billion tax cut for the oil industry, an industry that made $25 billion in profits in the first quarter of this year and they need our $42 billion as an incentive? to go look for new product? but they believe it.
it's that they pay for all of this by eviscerating, eliminating for all intent and purposes, the safety net for our parents and the poor. and they pay for it by abandoning all of the initiatives the middle class need to grow at the very time we should be investing in education, infrastructure and innovation. and by the way, every one of our -- name one of our competitors in the race for the 21st century? are they in beijing saying, the way we are going to win this is let's cut investments in infrastructure, no more research and development, and by the way, let's keep our population uneducated. seriously. [ applause ] what are these guys thinking?
folks, the ryan budget cuts 30% -- 30% investment, which is not even -- it's modest that we're making in infrastructure. they cut the investment of renewable energy by 70%. and education by 25%. cutting off access to college for millions, millions. of qualified students. some of you know my wife, jill. she teaches full time at a community college, 15 credits a semester while being second lady. god love her. any nation that outeducates us will outcompete us. what is it all about in the beginning of this century? america is either going to lead or follow. there is no in between.
and, folks, they're doing all of this so they can afford more tax cuts for oil companies and for the people who are good people but need them the least. folks, this republican party is not even your father's republican party. this is a different breed of cat. and, again, a lot of you people know me very, very well. john broddick, you were my friend for 30 years. i say what i believe. unfortunately, i always say it. but my honest to god belief is these are good guys, they are decent people, they really think this is the prescription for america's future. i don't doubt for a minute that they think what they are doing is good for the country. but lord, lord almighty, i doubt
their judgment and value system and priorities. we're so, so far apart. and, folks, there is a third region besides them hiding the ball and everybody realizing how strong barack obama is, there's a third reason i feel optimistic about our chances in 2012 as i do about america. you, the people in this room. and that's not hyperbole. you are representative of the millions of people, tens of thousands of people like you, the core of our party, the backbone, the sinew and muscle of this party, who in 2008 helped us put together and actually, i just joined the team, i can take no credit, you helped president obama put together the most effective grassroots effort in the history of american politics.
in the history of american politics. [ applause ] and, folks, whether i'm in kentucky or florida, nevada or wisconsin, i'm telling you it's there. i know we're going to do this again. as i said, folks, this is not 2010. this is 2012. and the reason i know it is barack obama will be at the top of the ticket this time. and you're not going to hear much about an enthusiasm gap. you're going to start to hear and i say to the press about an enthusiasm surge. and by the way -- [ applause ] by the way, if only 75% of those who turned out in 2008 turned
out in 2010, ladies and gentlemen, it will not happen again in 2012. you know for so much of our first term it seemed like we had been tasked with cleaning the agean stables. you think i'm joking. i'm not. one hideous moment after another. i don't think there has been any president who has had as many difficult, significant and complicated problems from disparate areas of our national life dropped on his desk at any one time. i mean that sincerely. folks, we got the car out of the hole, as the president said. we dragged out of that god awful abyss. it needs a lot of work but it is
on level ground, as he would say. and now that we have righted it, now is the time to begin to move on the original agenda we ran on. you know, i had the honor of speaking today at the kennedy library. and for an irish catholic kid from scranton, it was a gigantic honor. i was asked to commemorate john kennedy's famous speech challenging our nation to go to the moon. when president kennedy made his moon shot speech in 1961 there were those who said, and i was a senior in high school, i remember the sense of enthusiasm, but i remember the naysayers. some of the adults in my neighborhood, the development we lived in who said we can't afford this kind of silly commitment. we can't afford at this moment that moment in our history to make such an investment.
but just like there are those then, today they are the same people. and there are many of our republican colleagues who are seeking to stay and gain office, who say we can't afford today. literally, this is what they say, we can't afford to make the investments in education, in early education, in access to college, we can't afford to make the investments in innovation and technology and science. we can't afford -- they acknowledge a need, but we can't afford to renovate the infrastructure of america to meet the needs of the 21st century. we can't afford to do that. in 1961 president kennedy answered the way barack obama and joe biden answer it. we cannot afford to fail to make those investments.
[ applause ] ladies and gentlemen, they don't seem to understand the character of this nation. they don't seem to understand who we are as a people, they don't seem to understand the journey of the history of this country. ladies and gentlemen, when john kennedy spoke, he represented not only his generation, but the character of the american people and i'm as confident that my generation and yours has the same character, the same grit, the same determination and is better positioned to move us into the 21st century than we were even in 1961. that's our job. that's our job. [ applause ] so ladies and gentlemen, we have a lot of work to do. i'm willing to do it with you. i'm glad to be with you. god bless you all and my god protect our troops. thank you. [ applause ]
[room noise] >> vice-president biden spitting in nashua, new hampshire's last night. republican candidate newton gingrich is in new hampshire this morning. he it will be speaking in portsmouth, new hampshire and we will bring video to you. over on c-span 2, the senate gavels in at 9:30 eastern and they will work on extension to the patriot act for it on c-span 3 this morning, a senate confirmation hearing for the to the ambassador to china. president obama has picked commerce secretary barry locke commerce secretary barry locke to fill the post